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“I’m in my thirties and I have a one-pack rather than a six-pack and I look at photos of me in my twenties and think how much more ripped I looked and I want to workout but I don’t have time because I wake up early and get home late and I want to see my kids or I have jobs around the house to do and then on the weekends I want to spend time with my family. How could I possible workout?”
You can reduce your strength training frequency, workout just once a week and still stay fit, strong and lean. We challenged super strength & conditioning coach, Sean Keefe, to design a weekly workout that targets all areas to ensure a spartan physique.
Note: The more regular you exercise the better, providing you don’t overtrain. This workout will not give you the results of working out three days a week but for those who may be hard-pressed for time it is a viable alternative that can still have solid benefits in muscle gain and cardio.
Stay Strong In Your Thirties
Having worked with the likes of UFC middleweight champion, Michael Bisping, and elite athletes from sports such as rugby and lacrosse, I know what it takes to create a champion.
However, some people hit their thirties, get knocked back by other life commitments and that’s it — they’re out for the count. If you can workout once a week, you don’t have to get a beer gut as you get older. You don’t have to wake up with aches and pains. You don’t have to get weaker. By changing your lifestyle and strength training frequency you train less and still be as strong and fit as you desire.
Less Is More
Doing less is going to be more beneficial for you in the long run. Gone are the days of crawling out of the gym session after session. This can be done but just not all the time.
Recovery is key and to get optimal results out of your training you have to be fuelling your body with protein, generally eating well and getting good quality sleep. You can workout once a week and still see strength gains while building a impressive physique. In fact, a recent study by Schoenfeld et al showed that doing a workout once a week can still supercharge your strength gains and build muscle mass. The study found:
Performing less than 5 weekly sets per muscle produced an average hypertrophic gain of 5.4%. Not too shabby. So if you are time-pressed and not concerned about achieving the upper limits of your muscular potential, it should be heartening to know that you can build an impressive physique without spending a lot of time in the gym.
Within the study, doubling the weekly sets found an increase in hypertrophic gain of 9.8%. That’s a difference of 4.2% muscle gain. Here you can see that going to the gym more regularly will increase your gains, however it’s not so drastically reduced that going just once a week would be pointless. You can still see solid gains.
The ‘Once A Week Workout’
If you can only workout once a week, here is a simple but effective session that ensures you’re hitting all the necessary elements. This will help you stay strong and in shape while building a ripped physique and more muscle. Be sure to get solid sleep and rest after the workout and maintain a healthy diet to see maximum results.
A1 Deadlift 6 sets x 3 reps, rest 60 seconds between sets
B1 Military Press 6 sets x3 reps, rest 60 seconds between sets
C1 Step-ups 3-4 sets x 8-10 reps
C2 Barbell Rows 3-4 sets x15 reps
C3 Press-ups 3-4 sets x 15-20 reps
Rest 60 seconds after all three (C1-C3).
D1 Dumbbell Farmers Walk 5 x 50m
D2 Kettlebell Swings 5 sets x 25 reps
D3 Chin-ups 5 reps
Finish D1-D3 as quick as you can. Repeat for 5 sets, dropping 5 kettlebell swings every set.